Friday, May 31, 2013

Box pleats everywhere lately!

Whether called box pleats or kick pleats, this is a timeless treatment for draperies or valances.  Lately they've been more popular than ever.
Here, a signature look for Liz at Paris Interiors.  A soft folded mock hobbled cornice out of linen, with box pleated panels over out of a sheer silk moire lined with batiste.  I spent an hour and a half steaming these pleats into place!
Denise Wenacur has her own special version of this look: box pleated panels floating on their own little mounting boards, for a very dressy, modern treatment.
Here, in the living room, elegant columns of drapery bring the eye up.

The same treatment softens and unobtrusively dresses up the adjacent dining room.
Here, the same pleat is shortened and widened to become valances.
Whether you call them kick pleats or box pleats, they are create a popular and classic top treatment.  Here, Denise uses them to dress rooms where people spend a LOT of time.
A bedroom a teenage girl can grow into.  Purple top welt defines the top line.
One of three big windows in a spacious family room and eating area.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bias lining

Suzie of Cottages To Castles wanted a bias cuff and jabot lining on a Pate-Meadows Cuff-Top Valance. 
So it made sense to line the entire valance on the bias.

Numerous narrow strips of the plaid were cut and then sewn back together staggering the repeats, until a large enough piece was created for the valance pattern.

Oops, a seam falls right in the middle of one of the cuff areas-
So I cut that section open and spread it out-
And inserted a narrow piece so the seam fell in an area where it wouldn't show.
Here's the valance all cut out, fully lined with bias fabric.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Westchester Showhouse 2013

The Cerebral Palsy of Westchester 2013 Showhouse is in full swing, and once again Leatherwood Design Co has a presence at this prestigious event, in Kim Freeman's Breakfast Room, photographed here by Susie Cushner.

This linen stripe features diminutive 2-finger pleats which draw the eye upward and lengthen the window.
A tiny silk loop fringe is sewn into the lead edge, and blends in so well with the fabric's embroidered stripe that it looks like part of the fabric.
The plaster walls would not support the hardware, so the poles were hung on the molding, an old-fashioned look that is appropriate for an older home.   The narrow rod profile and the short 2" pleat keep the installation in the right proportion for the molding.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Nightingale Valance

Over the years I've learned how to draft patterns for many window treatments, but when the designer wants a specific M'Fay valance, why re-invent the wheel?  Just get the pattern!
That's what I did when Suzie from Cottages 2 Castles asked for a beautifully detailed Nightingale valance. 

Although I own dozens of M'Fay patterns, this is one I didn't already have.  As usual, the instructions were clear and thorough.

Suzie added microcord at the top which really shows off the pretty cutout goblet pleat.

I love the two layers of embellishment at the bottom- a 3/8" bias contrast fabric band, and a bead trim on gimp above the band.

The pleats feature cutouts at the top as well as the bottom.

Before the pleats are sewn, a gathering thread is run and the button attached.

Then the threads are pulled tight and secured behind the button.

Because the welt was a different color, the very top of the pleat needed to be secured with a single tiny stitch of matching green thread, to close the back.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Little inverted pinches

Diane Satenstein loves to dress her rooms with flat panels- a more casual style for a home's less formal rooms.  We use 2" clear buckram in the header for sturdiness and fluidity, and make tiny backwards pinches.  That gives the pins something to grab onto, and makes the top easier to control.  Recently we installed this style in four rooms of a house that Diane has been working on.
Kitchen- a long window that goes nearly to the floor.

Exposed glass is maximized by using a button holdback.

In the master bedroom, interlined silk is pleated to pattern, though that's not too obvious in this photo!
I love this star-flower!  Fine quality silk is luminous with the sun behind it.
In the dressing room, unlined embroidered, incredibly sheer, silk organdy.
Exotic looking trim against that sheer defines the line of the lead edge.
In a teenager's bedroom, blackout shades provide privacy, and ultra-cool fabric provides fun.
This was entirely hand-sewn; and not as difficult as it looks like it would be.

Thursday, May 9, 2013


People often want to make short shades to use only as valances, and they want to know what is the shortest they can get away with and still look like something. 
Here's an example.  Due to limited fabric availablilty, these shades came out only 28.5" long when flat.  Here is is pulled up to a spot that I think looks nice- about 17".
I wondered how short I could draw it before it looked silly.  Here it is at about 13"; if it did not have the topper it could possibly go up another inch.  But I don't like it that short.
When it was installed, the decorator split the difference.  The uppermost fold is a half-fold which gives the valance close to the look of a hobbled shade.  A great look for just a yard of fabric!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Fab Fabric Friday!

For a teenage girl with hippie aspirations-
The pink and black section was perfect for the flange.
This is my favorite style of sham- ruffled-corner flange.
This stripe just begged to become a bolster.
I had a hard time deciding on pink button or turquoise?